Lacombe County creating environmental management plan

A current snapshot of the environment in Lacombe County and pressures on it has been released.

A current snapshot of the environment in Lacombe County and pressures on it has been released. Now work is beginning to develop the county’s first environmental policy and management plan.

The State of the Environment (SOE) Report outlines community perception, scientific data, current environmental legislation and environmental extension programs. “It is a compilation of information gathered from various sources and provides us with a baseline,” said Blayne West, the county’s environmental coordinator, in a media release.

“It does not include management recommendations or future planning considerations,” she emphasized. “This document is a snapshot in time; it represents only the data that is available at the time of writing.”

The document examines the environment through a scientific and socio-economic planning structure. The scientific approach focuses on analyzing available data to identify and assess changes in the environment over time. The planning approach uses social norms to compare and rank alternative choices, to balance environmental, economic and social objectives and to initiate management options.

The Environmental Management Plan (EMP) “will be shaped by the data found in the SOE, the data gathered by the community and by balancing the social and economic needs of the community with that of the environment.

The EMP will “help us to create a framework, with milestones, an end goal, and a built-in monitoring system to ensure we keep track of our progress and stay focused along the way.”

The document is planned for release in the winter of 2014.

Copies of the SOE may be downloaded from the county’s website or printed copies may be acquired by emailing bwest@lacombecounty.com or phoning Blayne West at 403-782-6601.